John Singleton died Monday in Los Angeles at age 51 from complications of a stroke. As news of his death spread, the iconic filmmaker was remembered by his friends and former colleagues for opening doors and offering a true representation on-screen of the struggles of inner-city life in Boyz N the Hood.
Morris Chestnut and Ice Cube, who Singleton cast in their first movie roles in the drama, thanked him for giving them “a chance” and for impacting the lives of so many others.
“John Singleton gave me a chance. When I left the audition for Boyz N’ The Hood as he shook my hand, he gave me a stronger grip than normal and looked me in the eye. I felt he was basically giving me a signal that I had the job without telling me,” Chestnut wrote on Instagram. “From there, there was no comprehension of the massive chain of events that was about to follow. People from all over the world literally tell me how they’re affected by Boyz ‘N The Hood.”
Ice Cube added on Twitter: “I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved [to] bring the black experience to the world.”
Regina King, who had roles in Boyz N the Hood and Poetic Justice tweeted a tribute mentioning Singleton’s tremendous talent.
“Rest In Power, my friend. One of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you GOD for blessing us with this gift better known as John Singleton. Having trouble finding enough words to share,” she wrote.
Boyz N the Hood earned South Central Los Angeles native Singleton the distinction of becoming the youngest person, and the first African-American, ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. It also received a Best Screenplay nomination.
The film Academy tweeted a statement saying the legendary filmmaker will be “greatly missed.”
Read more reactions below.
The youngest-ever Best Director nominee and an inspiration to us all. John Singleton, you will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/cMWrDz9633
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) April 29, 2019
He always showed up for me. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/k7LJEHXh3k
— Nia Long (@NiaLong) April 30, 2019
Rest In Power, my friend. One of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you GOD for blessing us with this gift better known as John Singleton. Having trouble finding enough words to share just… https://t.co/SlQGwDEHU7
— Regina King (@ReginaKing) April 29, 2019
I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved bring the black experience to the world. ..Us at Cannes ‘90 pic.twitter.com/CaRKjZtjgB
— Ice Cube (@icecube) April 29, 2019
I met @SHAFT6816 as a recently graduated first time writer/director embarking on his nascent film career. I will forever remember him fondly from our first meeting during the audition… https://t.co/nftANCeA8Q
— Angela Bassett (@ImAngelaBassett) April 29, 2019
Mourning the loss of a collaborator & True Friend John Singleton. He blazed the trail for many young film makers, always remaining true to who he was & where he came from!!! RIP Brother. Gone Way Too Soon!
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) April 29, 2019
Last I saw John was at a screening of Black Klansman at the Directors Guild. We spoke for a few as we hadn’t seen each other in a while. We embraced and the last words he said to me as I walked away…
Rest In Peace my brother and thank you. #Legend pic.twitter.com/8kbE2bJg6D
— Franc. Reyes (@Franc_Reyes) April 29, 2019
Sad to hear of the loss of John Singleton. One of the great directors of our time. RIP John..🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽Prayers for your family
— Chris Tucker (@christuckerreal) April 30, 2019
RIP to my dear brother, John Singleton. Gone far, far too soon…your storytelling & contributions to our culture will endure forever.
— Quincy Jones (@QuincyDJones) April 30, 2019
27 years ago, I was newly landed in Hollywood and got to visit my already legendary filmmaking hero John Singleton on the set of Poetic Justice. He took the time off from set to talk, offer words of encouragement, and told me to work from the heart. Rest in peace, John. pic.twitter.com/mZe0guejvv
— Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez) April 29, 2019
I cannot believe this man is gone at such a young age. He was always encouraging, supportive, and gracious to me. I will be calling his and his family’s name in my prayers tonight. Heartbroken and shocked. May God add peace and rest to your ascending soul Mr. John Singleton. pic.twitter.com/5PFug6LQJO
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) April 29, 2019
Not only did John make movies for us and our culture, he made one of the most iconic videos ever! It showed the world what Egyptians really looked like! Again I say, THANK YOU! May God bless the soul of John Singleton. pic.twitter.com/RAEm61vw0a
— COMMON (@common) April 29, 2019